Jean-Eric Vergne says his role at Ferrari “will change a bit”, with the Frenchman tipped to become the Scuderia’s official reserve driver for 2016.
The Frenchman joined Maranello in a test and development capacity after racing for three years at Toro Rosso from 2012-2014. Vergne completed substantial work in the simulator to develop the SF15-T, though the 25-year-old did not take part in any testing session in 2015.
With Ferrari's former reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez returning to a full-time role with F1 newcomers Haas this year, Vergne looks like the logical choice to fill the Mexican’s position.
“Things will change a little bit. It’ll be announced quite soon,” he told US publication MotorSports Talk.
When specifically quizzed on the possibility of replacing Gutierrez, a tight-lipped Vergne added: “We’ll see. Maybe.”
Team owner Gene Haas recently declared that his F1 team – which already enjoys a close technical partnership with Maranello – would welcome the possibility of sharing its third driver with Ferrari.
Vergne’s promotion would also make sense in this context, considering the fact that the Frenchman was on Haas’ shortlist of drivers last year.
Since leaving Toro Rosso, the former British F3 champion has been dovetailing his F1 commitment with competing in the all-electric Formula E series. After representing Andretti Autosport in the inaugural season, Vergne has switched to DS Virgin Racing for his sophomore campaign.